The only ladder truck to fight fires in Henry County is 17 year old, and that was a major discussion item at the Napoleon Council ‘safety and human resources’ meeting Monday night. Council is already making plans for when they have to replace that unit, hopefully 13 years down the line. But to gear-up for buying a new ladder truck, likely to cost 2.2 million dollars, in 2030, the city of Napoleon will have to start setting-aside more money. The Safety committee’s recommendation is to increase the current $90,000 figure for fire equipment replacement by $5,000 each year. It has not been increased for about ten years. Napoleon’s current operating budget for the fire department is 1.7 million dollars, so the purchase of a 2.2 million dollar aerial ladder truck would be a big jolt to the budget, without this set-aside fund. The Napoleon Safety Committee is also recommending the fee structure be put into the city’s ordinance code, since it is not currently. The current fees would remain the same for fire and rescue, except for a couple of changes. They are recommending a fee for use of the fire training facility off Oakwood Avenue, when its complete. They other change would be if fire inspectors deal with non-compliance by property owners, following the free inspection. Napoleon fire department will continue to offer free first inspections.
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